The streets around Wollongong were eerily quiet, with ample parking spaces in the CBD just before 3pm – the time of the Melbourne Cup.
Flashes of colour and shards of laughter could be heard from some venues – such as The Lagoon, Harbourfront, the Anchorage and City Beach Function Centre, to name a few.
However other venues were observed to draw less people than the previous year.
Managing director of the Harbourfront and Level One said punters who came to their Cup Day luncheons had become more “subdued” over the years, though alcohol consumption still went hand-in-hand with the day.
“It’s one of the bigger days [for trade],” Angelo Scioscia said.
“It’s a lot harder for us to try and deal with people on Melbourne Cup Day but it’s generally a lot bigger than the majority of days – except for New Years so it keeps us on our toes.”
The venue had a mixture of young women wearing bright coloured fascinators, crowns and bold colours at the cocktail event; along with a more “mature” demographic taking advantage of the sit-down multi-course function upstairs.
At Kembla Grange racecourse thousands hit the turf to enjoy the local race meet, mixed in with the major race on the big screen.
Screams and yells from happy winners could be heard in pockets throughout the crowd obviously holding tickets with the words Cross Counter (first place), Marmelo (second), A Prince of Arran (third) and Finche (fourth for a quinella).